Column: Miss Navajo Nation serves as ambassador for the tribe

"I hold many great memories from the 20 or so years that my newspaper beat included the Navajo Nation. Many of them involve mud and sheep.

Here’s one: Late in the summer of 1998, I spent a cool, wet morning watching young women dressed in their velvet finery compete for the title of Miss Navajo Nation. Most had tied plastic grocery sacks around their feet to keep the mud away from their moccasins while they competed in one of the premier events of the contest – sheep butchering.

I concentrated on one grim-faced contestant who methodically sawed back and forth and back and forth against the woolly neck of her still quite-alive sheep.

I still remember a line in that story, which sums up the difference between this and other beauty pageants: “If you want to be Miss Navajo Nation, it pays to have a sharp knife.” "

Get the Story:
Leslie Linthicum: The Many Talents Of Miss Navajo (The Albuquerque Journal 9/2)

Join the Conversation